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Have You Played...Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Saga?

Come to the dark side

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Few games have given me as much of a power fantasy as Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Saga. This real-time strategy from the long-missed Ensemble Studios took Age of Empires and slapped Star Wars over the top. So even in 2001 it looked dated. However, what it lacked in looks, it made up for with stormtrooping scenarios and custom modes.

It had several campaigns, including ones based on the prequel films, but only the first couple. So there was no harming the younglings of Episode 3. (Well, I say that, but the scenario maker would probably be robust enough to make a Revenge of the Sith campaign if you really wanted to). It also had a decent amount of options for online multiplayer at the time, though these days it’s a relic that can only be played in LAN or against an AI.

It had one mission that I’ll always remember. The one where Darth Vader and his merry gang of galactic cronies go to a planet and wreck everything just to find one bloke. You begin the mission with some Stormtroopers and a couple of healing bots that keep your lads healthy, but as the mission goes on and you annihilate the Rebel scum, you get better reinforcements: tanks, small mechs, a couple of AT-STs, and Stormtroopers on firebreathing beasts.

I’d recommend Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Saga, based solely on that first Darth Vader mission and its ultimate power trip. That is if you can get over the fact you’ll always hear “Duel of the Fates” at the beginning of every mission, without fail, even when it’s anachronistically playing over scenarios from the original trilogy.

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Dave Irwin

Guides Writer

As guides writer for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it is my privilege to understand how to play certain games well, so that newer players can understand the more complex things about them.

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